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Cooperation and competition in microbial societies

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  • Full or part time
    Prof K Foster
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Microbes live all around us, and in us, and are central to health, industry and ecosystem function. A lot of what microbes do they do in dense groups where social interaction is rife. Sometimes they help each other by secreting signals and growth-promoting enzymes. Sometimes they harm each other with powerful toxins and molecular spears. Why then do some microbes cooperate with one another while others engage in mutual destruction? This project will study and dissect interactions in microbial communities, with opportunities for both experimental work and/or ecological and evolutionary modelling. The overarching goal is to reveal and understand the hidden behaviours and ecologies within the complex societies of microorganisms that are so central to all of biology.

Webpage: http://zoo-kfoster.zoo.ox.ac.uk/

Funding Notes

Funding is competitive, via either University/Departmental Studentships or Doctoral Training Centres http://www.zoo.ox.ac.uk/graduates/applying


Kim W, Racimo F, Schluter J, Levy SB, Foster KR. 2014. Importance of Positioning for Microbial Evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111, E1639–E1647
Mitri S, Foster KR 2013. The genotypic view of social interactions in microbial communities. Annual Review of Genetics,47:247–73

How good is research at University of Oxford in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 223.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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